Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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KAF guaranteed, quick-n-easy
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Total time:
Yield: 2 3/4 cups

Recipe photo

This "American-style buttercream" is a simple, basic frosting, good for spreading on cupcakes or in-the-pan cakes. It goes together quickly and spreads easily.

Our guarantee: This frosting will go together quickly and spread easily.

Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

star rating (26) rate this recipe »
KAF guaranteed, quick-n-easy
Hands-on time:
Total time:
Yield: 2 3/4 cups
Published: 01/01/2010


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 5 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup milk or cream

Tips from our bakers

  • If you want some frosting left over to use in decorating, increase the ingredient amounts to: 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, approximately 6 cups confectioners' sugar, and up to 1/2 cup milk or cream.


1) In a large bowl, beat together the butter, shortening, and salt till fluffy.

2) Add about half the confectioners' sugar, and beat slowly until well blended.

3) Add the vanilla and half the milk or cream, and beat until fluffy.

4) Continue mixing in sugar and milk alternately until they've been completely incorporated.

5) Beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1/24 batch (31g) Servings Per Batch: 24 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140 Calories from Fat: 50 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 2.5g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 10mg Sodium: 15mg Total Carbohydrate: 23g Dietary Fiber: 0g Sugars: 22g Protein: 0g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 01/15/2015
  • Karla from Sioux City, Iowa
  • I must be the only one who didn't do something correctly. I made this last night for my cupcakes. It tasted great but it was almost as if I should have melted the butter. (We got it out of the refrigerator 2 hours before we used it but it didn't seem like it had softened very well.) I did not use shortening, I used all unsalted butter. Do I need to melt the butter or should it just left it out longer? Use butter that's overnight soft for better results! Melted butter will not be your friend in this recipe or others that just need softened butter - happy baking - Irene@KAF
  • star rating 12/28/2014
  • Debra from Illinois
  • Just made this for my daughter's birthday cake. It has a wonderful flavor and was great for decorating! I made the larger portion per the directions in the "tips from our bakers", and it was the perfect amount for frosting a layer cake and piping decorations.
  • star rating 12/12/2014
  • Ashley from Virginia
  • Easy preparation, great taste! I like healthy stuff so I was hesitant about the shortening, but that's really what makes it such a staple for my birthday parties. It's no fail and people love it!
  • star rating 11/08/2014
  • Julie from Sylvania, Ohio
  • I love this frosting. Unlike some other reviewers, I like using shortening for half of the fat content instead of all butter. There is just a slight hint of butter taste instead of overpowering it. However, that is just personal preference. Some people really like all butter. Delicious!
  • star rating 05/31/2014
  • Lonnie from CDA, ID
  • Excellent. I used organic non hydrogenated shortening with the 1/2 cup recipe. I used it for a cookie decorating party for my 10 yr old. There was plenty of frosting for a regular batch of cookies, even with a very thick layer. I don't usually like shortening in frosting as it leaves an unpleasant sensation on the tongue, but this recipe did not. A keeper for sure
  • star rating 12/18/2013
  • Stephanie from Fulton, MD
  • I substituted solid, unrefined coconut oil for the shortening, and the frosting was a good consistency and very tasty. There was a hint of coconut flavor to the frosting, but my family enjoyed that. The recipe made enough frosting for 2 nine-inch layers. Delicious on the golden yellow cake on this web site.
  • star rating 12/16/2013
  • Katie from Southampton, PA
  • Absolutely delicious, and quick and easy to make. Perfect for frosting a cake and easy to decorate with. I used organic non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening which helped eliminate the greasiness of hydrogenated shortenings.
  • star rating 11/02/2013
  • Rokssana from Brooklyn, NY
  • This recipe was great! I made icing for the first time and because I used this recipe I will never use the store brand again. Thank you!
  • star rating 08/28/2013
  • Chris from Arkansas
  • Made this to go on KAF's "Golden Vanilla Cake" and found it easy to assemble and spread. I will definitely use this recipe on my cakes in the future.
  • star rating 07/02/2013
  • BeeTee from VT
  • Easy and delicious. I made the lemon variation.
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